By Julie Littman
Schools are becoming war zones where warped, deranged minds are armed to the teeth, seeking revenge on other students who may have wronged them or simply a case of naked aggression. No longer will a backpack, a new pair of shoes and school supplies cut it; students are in need of tactical and defense training, so they can avoid being blown away. Meanwhile, parents are at work, wondering if their kid will come home with battle damage. Educational institutions must now master lock-down procedures like a prison in the heat of a riot. Though school shootings are nothing new, when did it become normal for kids to start strapping on their way to class?
According to an article by The Sun, assaults on academia date back as far as 1927 when a school treasurer killed 38 children and six adults via suicide car bomb. Standardized school shootings didn’t come to the forefront of our society, however, until the Columbine Kids, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, shot and killed 12 students and one teacher at their high School in Colorado. Since then, it seems like every other year there is a notable mass-murder shooting occurring at a school or university.
Back in the 1990s _ when a student’s only fears were natural disasters and evil drug pushers _ schools didn’t have lockdown drills in preparation for an armed individual. Older folks will even remember cowering under a desk, in the ’80s and earlier, during an atomic bomb drill, in the Cold War era along with getting tickets to see “Nuke ‘em High.” A kid could go through all 12 years of school without talk or threat of gun ending their life. Nowadays it appears that guns are the new curriculum. Throw out those textbooks, and pick up the “Idiot’s Guide” on how to avoid being killed by a shot gun or where would be the best place to hide in school. Principals hire armed guards, install metal detectors at their entrances and keep doors locked during school hours _ this is the world we live in today. Blame is being thrown on video games, movies, TV shows and the Media’s obsession with covering these types of tragedies _ “it’s so groovy now that people are finally gettin’ together” even gun-control activists want bans on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. But nothing makes a psycho crave access to deadly weapons more than basically being told “no.” They will get their hands on them regardless of any laws on the books, and national gun registries be damned.
Marco Brambilla had a vision of contemporary society when he directed “Demolition Man,” but, by his standards, banning all violence means repressing every intense feeling, even dishing out tickets for swearing. However, that system proved unsustainable and eventually it all blew up in their face when a villain got his hands on weapons, with plans of mass destruction, and it took violence to stop him. Yes, in the end, primal instincts prevail, ultimately causing man to destroy himself.
For example, on the other side of the world, occurring the same day as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Dec. 14th, a 36-year-old man entered Chenpeng Village Primary School in China and stabbed 23 students. Driven mad by doomsday rumors, he “wanted to make an impression on the world” and, of course, the natural decision was to go ape shit and knife a bunch of children. An article by Fox reported that the stabber was inspired by a kindergarten stabbing that occurred in 2010, the same year that a killing epidemic of this nature went down in China. Since then, every Tom, Dick and Mary, who buy large knives, were supposed to be registered, and all schools were mandated to employ armed guards. With only brooms to defend themselves, Chenpeng teachers won’t be spared from their psychotic counterparts who brutally illustrate half-cocked notions on the ways of the world.
And now almost a month after the Sandy Hook shooting, on Jan. 10 _ mere days after the staff just went through training, to deal with an armed gunman on campus _ 16-year-old Bryan Oliver entered Taft Union High School, located right outside of Bakersfield, Calif., whipped out his Winchester 12-gauge and fired a round hitting a 16-year-old student, who later suffered multiple injuries, in a science classroom. Two students that were targeted supposedly bullied Oliver, who had red hair, called him a “Ginger,” and Oliver was considered by some to be a genius according to an article by the New York Daily News. Instead of an effective punch to the face or using that “genius” mind to his assailants look stupid, Oliver opted for the ultimate bully silencer. However, a teacher, Ryan Heber, stepped in front of Oliver’s shotgun, cocked and ready to fire, and was able to talk young Oliver down, avoiding a potential mass shooting _ “Ginger” had several rounds of ammunition in his pocket, prepared to do more damage. Heber later told a reporter from CNN that, at the end of the day, he is still a teacher and didn’t want to be considered a hero. For all of you future educators, tack that duty onto the job requirements of teaching.
Jump back and down to the good ‘ol Southwest where another mass killing was stopped in Bartlesville, Okla. due to an assistant-principal stepping up and reporting a student for violently plotting against his school. The Oklahoma teen in question is currently being tried for planning to lure the student body into the auditorium, barricade the doors with chains and booby trap the doors with explosives. He would then start shooting at students, but why the IED on the doors? Never can be too prepared, as he even tried recruiting other students to help him and threatened to kill his would-be recruits who didn’t comply. Luckily, the assistant-principal got to the local police before the student had a chance to execute his plans. But the boy had been doing his homework, as an Enidnews.com article reported that police even found in his bedroom a .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle with stock cut off as well as journals, drawings, notes and clippings of fellow students from a newspaper. He had also allegedly been studying the Columbine shootings closely. Poor mommy dearest couldn’t believe her kid had any plans to do such a thing.
But, hey, that’s what society wants, right? Instead of taking action, society simply points its collective finger at someone, at something to blame. Blame bullying, or our obsession with guns. Blame those oblivious parents. Or, better, blame a lack of mental health services to those in need. Let’s not forget to throw some blame on those cowardly fellow students for not stopping incidents that they knew were happening. Don’t forget the National Rifle Association. Most importantly, blame Congress. Blame everyone, but don’t even think about taking any real action.
This way, the victims of torment will continue to find comfort in guns, releasing years of pent up anger. Without them, where would society get its healthy does of reality drama? Television networks might collapse without them! Dear, God! Heaven forbid we risk entertainment, looking inwardly at ourselves and take responsibility. But it’s okay, because computers and the internet can do everything for us including teaching youngsters that it’s cool to use guns, to gain their 15 minutes of infamy before being locked away for the rest of their lives. And what better way to achieve that notoriety than some help from the Internet, which can show kids how to buy guns cheap online. Further, why implement good parenting when there’s on-line streaming of war games and movies to keep your kids occupied, so you can still have an exciting life. And there’s no need to be concerned about their education, as armed guards and teachers have it all covered. It’s a good thing that Congress is more worried about our Second Amendment right to bear arms, because that’s what keeps children safe, right? Keep exercising that right of the pursuit of your happiness. If your psycho kid actually makes it to college and finds a lucrative job, be sure to send Thank-you cards _ maybe throw in a pat on the back _ to your local school, police department and security company. They were the ones who made it happen.